The Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals combined for just seven regular season wins last year, but both are off to strong starts in the 2019 NFL preseason. The up-and-coming teams clash on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET at University of Phoenix Stadium. Oakland and Arizona met in Week 11 last season, with the Raiders rallying for a 23-21 road win on a 35-yard field goal as time expired. But the Cardinals won the last preseason meeting, 20-10, two seasons ago. Most eyes Thursday night will be on Arizona rookie sensation Kyler Murray, the No. 1 overall draft pick. Murray looked dynamic in the Cards’ preseason opener, a 17-13 win over the Chargers, and coach Kliff Kingsbury said Murray will play more than the one drive he got last week. Sportsbooks list Arizona as a 1.5-point favorite in the latest Raiders vs. Cardinals odds, down sharply from an open of four. The over-under for total points scored is 39.5 after opening at 40. Before you make your Raiders vs. Cardinals picks and NFL predictions for Thursday’s preseason games, see what renowned NFL guru Mike Tierney has to say.
Tierney has been a winner for SportsLine members in every sport, but the NFL is his specialty. An acclaimed sportswriter whose work appears in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has reported from seven Super Bowls. Tierney was all over the Patriots covering in the Super Bowl, enabling him to finish last season with a sparkling 63-46 record against the spread. Anyone who has followed him is way, way up.
Now, Tierney has evaluated Raiders vs. Cardinals from every angle and locked in a strong pointspread pick. He’s sharing it over at SportsLine.
Tierney knows that in addition to Murray getting a longer look, Arizona will debut rookie wideout Andy Isabella and rookie cornerback Byron Murphy. Both missed the preseason opener with injuries, and both are integral to the Cardinals’ bright future. Murphy is a hometown favorite who has stood out in practice. Isabella, a second-round pick out of UMass, put up video game-like numbers as a senior: 102 catches for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns. In his final college game, Isabella exploited Georgia for 15 grabs, 219 yards and two touchdowns.
Look for Murray to display more of his telltale accuracy: He completed 6-of-7 passes for 44 yards in his debut last week against the Chargers; the one incompletion was actually a completed pass wiped out by penalty.
But just because Arizona is playing at home with a promising young roster doesn’t mean it will cover the Raiders vs. Cardinals spread.
Oakland coach Jon Gruden is 19-12-3 against the spread in preseason, one of the NFL’s top marks. And Peterman is quickly erasing memories of his horrific Buffalo tenure. In the win over the Rams, Peterman went 9-of-12 for 66 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 56 yards on three carries, including a career-long 50-yard run.
The Raiders also showcased their new-look defense, which was much improved over last season’s sieve-like unit. Oakland held the Rams to a paltry 190 yards and 10 first downs.
We can tell you Tierney is leaning over, but his much stronger play is on the spread. Tierney has unearthed a critical X-factor that has him going big on one side. He’s only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.
So who wins Cardinals vs. Raiders? What critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Mike Tierney’s strong Cardinals vs. Raiders spread pick, all from the seasoned expert who went 63-46 against the spread last season.
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